Home Sports Formula 1: Lando Norris achieves his first victory ahead of Max Verstappen at the Miami Grand Prix

Formula 1: Lando Norris achieves his first victory ahead of Max Verstappen at the Miami Grand Prix

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 5: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes makes a pit stop during the Miami F1 Grand Prix at the Miami International Speedway on May 5, 2024 in Miami, Florida . (Photo by Clive Rose – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Lando Norris took the first victory of his Formula 1 career on Sunday in Miami. (Photo by Clive Rose – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Lando Norris is a Formula 1 Grand Prix winner.

Norris benefited from a well-timed safety car for a crash involving Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant and pulled away from Max Verstappen during the second half of the race to win Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix.

Norris finished sixth in the opening laps of the race, but his car had important race pace. Norris moved up to second position as the cars ahead made pit stops and put in fast laps on their medium compound tyres.

He took the lead after Verstappen pitted just before Carlos Sainz and Norris’ McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri did. Once Piastri pitted, Norris took over the race lead when Magnussen and Sergeant collided in the first sector.

The safety car allowed Norris to make his only pit stop of the day and stay ahead of everyone else as he exited pit lane.

Simply put, Norris would not have won the race if the accident had not occurred when it did. But his victory wasn’t just due to the safety car either. Norris moved a second ahead of Verstappen a lap after the restart and then pulled away from the three-time defending world champion over the final 24 laps of the 57-lap race.

Norris, 24, is also the first driver not named Verstappen to win a race in Miami. Verstappen came into Sunday’s Grand Prix as the winner of the first two races on the circuit around Hard Rock Stadium and won Saturday’s sprint race quite easily.

But Verstappen’s car simply had no performance during the final stint of the race. He complained on the radio about a lack of front grip and found himself much closer to third-placed Charles Leclerc than Norris at the end of the race. Verstappen was 7.6 seconds behind Norris at the finish line and just 2.3 seconds ahead of Leclerc.

Norris is just the third driver outside of Verstappen to win a race since the start of the 2023 season. Verstappen won 19 of 22 races a season ago, while his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez took two wins and Carlos Sainz Ferrari won once. Coming into Sunday’s race, Sainz was the only driver other than Verstappen to take a win in the first five races of 2024 after Verstappen was forced to retire early from the Australian Grand Prix due to a brake problem. .

The victory is also McLaren’s first since 2021 and just the team’s second since 2012. Until Sunday, Daniel Ricciardo’s victory at Monza three seasons ago was the only time in the last 12 seasons that the team had reached the top from the podium.

But the team had gotten closer and closer to a victory since the second half of the 2023 season. After a miserable start last season (Norris finished 17th in the first two races and had four 17th-place finishes in the first seven races), McLaren’s improvements paid major dividends as the season progressed.

Norris achieved seven podiums and averaged eighth place last season with just one finish outside the top nine in the final 13 races of 2023.

McLaren’s speed will also carry over to 2024. Although the team has been third best on the overall grid behind Red Bull and Ferrari, Norris finished third at the Australian Grand Prix and second at the Chinese Grand Prix. He hasn’t finished worse than eighth in any of the first six races this season.

1. Lando Norris

2. Max Verstappen

3. Charles Leclerc

4. Carlos Sainz

5. Sergio Pérez

6. Lewis Hamilton

7. Yuki Tsunoda

8. George Russell

9.Fernando Alonso

10. Esteban Ocón

11. Nico Hulkenberg

12. Pierre Gasly

13. Oscar Piastri

14. Zhou Guanyu

15. Daniel Ricciardo

16. Valtteri Bottas

17. Spear Walk

18. Kevin Magnussen

19. Alex Albon

20. Logan Sergeant

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